Fleet Foxes Sun Giant

Though just a taste, this EP is still quite essential, as the talents of this band are truly astounding. Singer Robin Pecknold more often than not echoes At Dawn-era Jim James of My Morning Jacket, but that’s the only similarity. Where My Morning Jacket blew the speakers apart, Fleet Foxes retreat inside themselves and pull their music from a deep interior passion for widescreen harmonies. This promise is quickly realised on the note-perfect "Drops In the River,” which has a lazy stomp that expands into a chugging, reverb-laden climax but then retreats again. This back and forth between ambling melody and cathartic harmony is exhilarating and repeated on other songs, notably "Mykonos.” On that song, it starts off as an unassuming, sun-dappled ode but in the middle switches gears into this grand, vocally perfect call to the heavens. On Sun Giant, Fleet Foxes aren’t just making music, they’re tapping into something personal that they’ve immaculately practiced and sweated over. This is not a sloppy, lo-fi experiment but Southern-touched folk that is ageless and timelessly beautiful. (Sub Pop)